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Burrowing Owl

(Athene cunicularia)


Category: Birds



As their name implies, these owls live in burrows and are willing to either dig their own or inhabit those made by prairie dogs or other burrowing animals such as skunks and armadillos. They prefer to live in open areas and inhabit grasslands, rangelands, agricultural areas, deserts, and other similar habitats in North, Central, and South America. These industrious owls will actually collect mammal dung and place it in and around their burrows to attract beetles, which they then capture and devour.




Data & Facts

Scientific Classification
Kingdom - Animalia
Phylum - Chordata
Class - Aves
Order - Strigiformes
Family - Strigidae
Genus - Athene
Species - A. cunicularia

Did you know?
Interesting Animal Facts

Asleep at the wheel?

Can you imagine spending nearly all of your life in the air? The common swift doesn’t have to - it just does! From the day this bird learns to fly, it almost never touches the ground voluntarily - it eats, drinks, mates, and may even sleep while flying. While sleep walking can be problematic in humans, many birds have the ability to enter a state called unihemispheric slow-wave sleep, where one half of the brain sleeps as the other remains alert. This method of “sleeping with one eye open,” is a great way to avoid becoming another animal’s meal, and has led to the suspicion that these birds, who almost never willingly land, also sleep while in flight!

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